Oral historian Roz Bornstein interviewed Sara Kaplan on December 4, 2002 in Seattle, Washington as part of the Jewish Women's Archive "Weaving Women's Words" project.
Veteran Seattle teacher and civil rights activist, Sara Dalkowitz Kaplan grew up in Pearsall, TX. She was the only Jewish child in her county, and her parents drove her 50-plus miles to attend Sunday School each week at San Antonioâs reform congregation. Sara graduated from high school as the newspaper editor, champion debater, class president and valedictorian. She later earned a B.A. in political science at the University of Texas, an M.A. in economics from Columbia University, and her teaching certificate. In 1950 she married Seymour Kaplan. They raised two children, and for 25 years, Sara taught social studies and debate at Rainier Beach and Franklin High Schools. Active in Democratic Party politics since high school, Sara spent her life fighting for social justice: she served as president of B'Nai B'rith Women, Vice President of Brandeis University National Women's Committee, a board member of the Anti-Defamation League, and an active member of the NAACP and Seattle Urban League. In 1995 the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle recognized her efforts, establishing the Sara Kaplan Award for Outstanding Community Service in her honor. She died in July 2012 at the age of 89.
Sara Kaplan photo: Credit Joan Roth. Joan Roth's website
In the early 2000s, the Jewish Women's Archive conducted oral history interviews with 30 Jewish women living in Baltimore and another 30 in Seattle. Born in the early decades of the 20th century, these women lived through decades of political, social, and economic upheaval, as well as dramatic changes in expectations and opportunities for women. Doctors and lawyers, teachers and saleswomen, judges and social workers, homemakers and community volunteers, the narrators represent a wide range of backgrounds, affiliations, and experiences of American Jewish women. To find out more and to see the online exhibits based on this project, visit Jewish Women's Archive/baltimore and Jewish Women's Archive/seattle
The complete audio recordings and transcripts of the interviews are available on the Internet Archive.
This project was made possible in part by major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Brenda Brown Lipitz Rever Foundation, and the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, Inc. In Baltimore, the project was a collaboration with the Jewish Museum of Maryland; in Seattle, with the Museum of History and Industry.